The good news is that it’s spring time, and the dreary cold of winter is behind you. The bad news is that there’s water everywhere—a lot of it. Between the melting snow and the spring showers, the water on the ground can accumulate quickly, which can lead to problems for your home and family if it is not drained properly. Below are some reminders that can help avoid a disastrous basement flood.
Your roof is a good place to start. You should check your roof in the spring anyway, so here’s your chance to take care of two birds with one stone. Start by checking for loose or damaged shingles that may cause leaks. Repair all leaks immediately, no matter how small they seem at first. Once you have taken care of the shingles, inspect the eaves for deterioration. This can be the first sign of leakage or gutter damage.
Start by cleaning out all the gutters. They’ve had all autumn and winter to accumulate leaves and ice, so a good cleaning is vital. While you’re up there clearing out the gutters, check them for any damage—bent or broken pieces, popped rivets, etc. Make any necessary repairs. Once you are done with the roof gutters, inspect the downspouts. Make sure they are clean and free of clogs, and that you have splash blocks in place at each one to keep water draining away from the foundation.
Check the Ground
Next, take a walk around the yard, keeping an eye out for any depressed spots which may cause water to pool or drain back toward the house. Fill these spots in and seed them. As an added benefit, this will help keep mosquitoes under control. When you are putting out your sprinklers, make sure they are aimed such that they do not spray the house. The water can pool around the foundation and leak into the basement.
Repair any holes or ruts in your driveway, especially if it is gravel. This will keep water running down and off the driveway, rather than pooling or flowing back toward the house.
This may all seem like a lot. Basically there are three simple principles to keep in mind in order to keep your house safe from flooding and water damage. Repair leaks promptly, keep drainage routes clean, and water should always stay away from the foundation.
When in doubt, just keep those principles in mind, and you’ll go a long way toward keeping the basement dry.